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World Business Today

News/Business. Colleen McEdwards, Pauline Chiou. The day's global business news with a focus on international business and market trends.

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Tokyo 29, U.s. 11, London 9, Japan 8, Us 6, Cnn 5, Europe 5, Libya 4, United States 3, U.n. 3, Fukushima 3, Fukushima Daiichi 3, France 3, America 3, Sony 3, Asia 3, Shanghai 3, Honda 2, Pauline Chu 2, Lng 2,
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  CNN    World Business Today    News/Business. Colleen McEdwards, Pauline Chiou. The day's  
   global business news with a focus on international business...  

    March 17, 2011
    4:00 - 5:00am EDT  

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good morning from cnn done lon. >> good afternoon from cnn hong kong. you're watching a special edition of "world business today" as cnn continues its coverage of the earthquake and tsunami in japan. sea walter being poured from helicopters on to japan's damaged nuclear reactors. that is the scene on thursday. engineers attempt once again to avert catastrophic radiation
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leaks. the japanese military is dropping tons of water on to two of the six reactors at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant trying to cool the plant's fuel rods. but the company that runs the plant now reports that the radiation levels actually increased. they're also bringing in police, water cannon. officials say radiation levels right now are too high for personnel to venture inside. >> translator: spence force conducted a spring of water from the air. and the police are also going to start the water spraying by the water cannon trucks. so we're trying to combine the two approaches to maximize the effect of water spraying. >> hundreds of thousands of residents in the area have been evacuated. many are seeking refuge in
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public shelters. japan ordered people to move at least 20 kilometers away from the plant. but the united states is advising foam stay at least 80 kilometers, 50 miles away. the death toll from friday's massive earthquake and tsunami surpassed 3,500. 9,300 others are missing. engineers have begun attempting electricity to the fukushima plant to get the stalled water pumps running. the earthquake and tsunami cut power to those pumps and that what triggered the crisis. my senior correspondent joins us now from our tokyo bureau with more. tell us more about this operation which we understand is current of trying to put water on to one of those reactors from the air. >> reporter: yeah, really crucial operation, charles. there were four drops of water today from the air. they drop about seven tons of
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water on to those reactors before they ended that operation. now the helicopters are only going to be used during the morning. that's the information we're getting. what is happening is there are also going to be five water trucks from the military that are now being moved out there to be able to pump more water on to these reactors as well as the one truck from the police as well. now those five military trucks will pump about 30 tons of water into the affected area. interestingly, charles, they were going to get water directly from the ocean to the trucks and then on to the reactors. now they had to abandon that plan because it would have made that the soldiers would have to actually get out of the trucks and expose themselves to potentially dangerous levels of radiation. what's going to happen now, the soldiers are actually going to remain in the trucks. now, all of this is to try to get these reactors under control, to try to cool them down and stop the spread of potentially dangerous radioactive material into the
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air. the radiation does swing wildly, charles. track through the numbers today. at early this morning about 9:30, they were tracking in the central building there of the plant about 4,000 micro sieverts per hour. normally during a year a normal person in their every day life would come into contact with about 1,000 to 10,000 microsieverts. now that has dropped throughout the day. at lunch time they checked the perimeter of the fence and it dropped to 500. an enormous disparity there. it disperses very quickly. but they speak directly to this and the risks posed by this radiation. >> it is a very complicated
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situation. there are a number of factors in play. certainly weather and wind direction and the amount of dilution will be a very important factor. there are others as well such as how much the fuel overheats and what fission products get released into the containment and which are released into the environment. they all have different toxicities and different half lives. so there are quite a number of factors in play. we know what they are. that doesn't mean that we can necessarily predict with certainty what will happen. but we can put probabilities on it. the probability suggests that communities at a distance such as tokyo will not get a radiation dose that will be a significant impact to the people's -- the people who live there health. radiation, a big question mark, charles. it comes down to this, getting the reactors under control and stopping the spread of this harmful radioactive material. charles? >> absolutely. i think the question that everyone is asking from
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investors to really just everyone all the way around the world and that's certainly the picture we're getting on social media, putting all of this together, stan. are the japanese getting this under control? yes or no? >> reporter: at the moment, they're fighting to stay just where they are. they are fighting to just maintain the status quo. why? because they have had so many different things to deal with here, charles. they've had explosions. they've had fires. they've had potential or likely partial meltdowns within the reactors themselves. the radiation levels are peaking and dropping and at one point they had to evacuate all the workers. remember, they can't get in and have a look. they can't make at sesmentes they need to make. this is raising a lot of concern, a lot of fear, of course, amongst the general population, amongst the population who are fleeing japan as we speak. and also with international government between the u.s. and japan on this over exactly how much danger really exists.
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charles? >> okay. stan grant joining us from tokyo. many thanks to you updating us on the situation there, the operation to bring the things under control at the fukushima daiichi plant. thanks again. poly? >> charles, the financial fallout continues to follow the nuclear reactor problems. today the japanese yen hit the strongest level against the dollar. that was one dollar to 76.54 yen which surpassed the previous high of 79.75 in '95. it since pulled back and is right now trading at around 79.11 to one u.s. dollar. now a super strong yen is a very big issue. exporters want a weaker yen. you see it there still at 79. it has still surpassed that 80-en ma80 0 yen mark.
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japanese companies sell most of their products overseas. when they bring the overseas earnings back home and convert them into yen, a weaker yen means they make more in profits. now i want to show you what's been happening this entire week since monday, march 14th. now the lower the line, the stronger the yen is to the dollar. and it's been gradually getting stronger throughout the week. then take a look at this dip right here. that huge dip. that was at around 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time which is overnight in asia. that is when the yen just surged. now we have spoken to several experts who believe this happened because many investors had taken high dollar yen positions and that means when the yen strengthened to that psychologically important 80-yen mark, it triggered a surge of automatic buy orders which is what we see here in this major dip. okay. so how did the nikkei react to all of this? let's take a look.
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it closed the session down nearly 1.5%, although, at one point during the trading session, it had fallen nearly 5%. so this is slightly good news. now that rebound occurred on the news that japan was going to make another cash infusion, this time of $60 billion into the financial system, that is on top of the billions injected monday, tuesday, and wednesday. as far as stocks, take a look at household auto names. and we take a look at them right here to see how they did during the session here on thursday. okay. first looking at toyota. it ended the session down by about 2.25%. nissan motor down by more than 1%. same story there for honda motor, down by more than 1%. so still treading in negative territory but looking a whole lot better than the past few days when it had been at one point the stocks were down by double digits. now the markets across the rest
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of asia, how did they react to the developments in japan? let's take a look. most of them snil ntill in nega territory. with the hang seng, it was down by almost 2%. and ten cent holdings had a steep slide. the tokyo stock exchange has been operating all this week despite all of the upheavel that japan has faced. let's go now to our tokyo bureau to speak with the senior executive officer of the tokyo stock exchange group. thank you very much for joining us. i know it's been a chaotic week for you. several foreign investment firms have asked that the tokyo stock exchange suspend trading so they can actually relocate their staff outside of tokyo. is this something that the tokyo
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stock exchange is actually considering? >> no. yes, our system is operating very well. and so we are very good condition to give trading service to the investors. >> now 60% of the trades done on the tokyo stock exchange are done by foreign traders. i understand that if 20% of the brokerage firms actually have to stop doing business, the tokyo stock exchange does have the independent authority to actually suspend trading. if it gets to that point where a certain amount of foreign investment firms have to stop trading, you would consider it then? >> so the domestic individual or
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investor a little bit panicked. but the foreign institution industry is very positive to buy their stocks in tokyo market. so for investors power to buy is getting better, so i think tomorrow surprise can be expected to rise. and also, as you know, the target has swung. and it, too, has successful. i think it's a very good news for global investors. >> the rolling blackouts, the power outages have continued throughout the week. when do the blackouts actually hit tokyo? and does it affect trading? is it during trading hours?
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>> there is an inference from the nuclear reactor accident in tokyo because tokyo is 250 kilometer away from the nuclear reactor. and so the nuclear reactor response is now being stabilized. we don't worry about the nuclear reactors accident. >> okay. senior executive officer at the tokyo stock exchange. thank you very much. charles, back to you in london. >> very interesting that it's actually international investors who are holding up the market at the moment as opposed to domestic institutions in japan. let's have a look at how that crisis there is affecting european stock markets. and here's where we stand in the markets that are open. of course, we are seeing a bounce but off some very steep
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falls on wednesday. for example, here we are, the ft-se up by between .5%. it was off by .7% on wednesday. so it is coming from a very low level. paris cac up by nearly 1%. smi up by .5% and the dax up by nearly 1%. now u.s. stock markets accelerated their selloff on wednesday with all three major indices closing at the lowest levels this year. so all the gains of 2011 are gone in terms of the dow, nasdaq and s&p 500. dow off by 2%. nasdaq and s&p 500 not far behind. u.s. markets do look for a higher open when trading begins later on thursday. so looks like we're seeing a bit of a bounce in europe and the united states. but not in asia with the exception of seoul. so here's where the u.s. futures
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stand in premarket action. up by .5% for the dow and nasdaq. the broader market mid caps doing a little better, up by .6% and .75%. >> still gay snapshot there. thanks, charles. the disaster at japan's fukushima daiichi nuclear plant may prompt swift changes in global energy consumption and also in prices. coming up, how natural gas, oil, and coal might lead a global energy shift.
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this is cnn i-reporter johnny colt. he was 60 to 70 kilometers from the plant.
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his counter was going wild all the twi one extreme there. he was trained to get out as fast as he can if this happened. the japanese government says most of the radiation is concentrated right at the plant and residents need to evacuate only 20 to 30 kilometers away. keep in mind, he says he was 60 to 70 kilometers away. welcome back from cnn hong kong and london. this is a special edition of "world business today" as the coverage of the earthquake and tsunami continues. japan got 30% of it energy from nuclear power, not anymore, though. so now japan is scrambling to fill the energy gap. as jim bolden reports, the disaster promises to affect future energy policies and prices not only in japan but also around the world. >> reporter: countries rely on a mix of fuels to produce electricity. japan is the world's biggest importer of convention aal fuel
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like coal and the third largest oil consumer. up until last week, 30% of electricity was produced by nuclear. the earthquake and tsunami will change that mix at least in the short term. >> this is a game changer on a number of levels for nuclear and also second airily for the gas and for oil, too. >> reporter: energy producers and companies are now having to scramb scramble. within hours of the earthquake, prince, prices went higher for lng in britain. shell, for one, says it's already diverting lng to japan to make up for the lost nuclear power. >> i think the preferred route is going to be more lng coming to japan. now, of course, the implications of asian lng being diverted to japan is less carbos will head to europe. >> reporter: but it's not clear that natural gas prices should jump in the medium term, affecting gas bills for consumers around the world. >> we've got an interesting situation globally with north
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america importing much less than had been expected now because of rising domestic production and so, therefore, there is some slack in the system. and there's already talk about middle east producers, particularly quatar shifting volumes that were destined for the atlantic basin to japan. >> reporter: in a northerlial market, natural gas prices move with oil prices. but oil fell shortly after the quake, since japan will need less oil in the near term as factories are shut, refineries are damaged. and what about coal? could it see a renaissance? emerging countries like china produce and use coal, sho so does the united states. will japan become an enbieger coal importer? coal prices are expected to rise even before it's clear. >> it can take somewhere around three to five years to build a coal fired power plant. i think in japan where they have to think about a change in the generation mix, it's not clear where coal is going to fit in from that perspective.
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>> reporter: the big question now for long-term supply in prices, will the west move firmly away from nuclear? roughly a third of europe's electricity is generated by nuclear power, much higher, of course, in france. more nuclear was becoming one way countries were planning to cut carbon emissions instead of burning more coal and using pricey oil to generate electricity. for now, lng appears to be the fuel of choice. jim bolden, cnn, london. we're going to head to northern africa next and confidence and trepidation in libya. government forces press their advantage against rebel positions. but people in the east are not rolling out the red carpet for their arrival. also, japanese authorities take to the skies to tackle fukushima's imperilled nuclear plant.
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let's take a look at what's happening in the oil markets right now. nymex crude is up almost 1% in electronic trading. up 87 cents to $98.85 a barrel. oil prices are rising as dealers turn attentions to fresh reports of violence in the middle east on thursday. charles? >> well, let's update you on other news. the u.n. security council may vote on thursday on a broad range resolution so-called that could impose a no fly zone in libya. the council is discussing the civil war there but there's been no agreement yet on the proposal. on the ground, libyan government forces look confident as they press the assault. people in the eastern rebel strong hold are frustrated with the international community as our reporter reports. >> reporter: people here are disappointed with the international communities in action is an understatement.
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they're angry. they're frustrated, and they feel completely betrayed and abandoned. the failure of the united nations to pass a resolution that would implement a no fly zone, people are telling us is nothing short, they say, of having global leaders sign their death warrants. carrying both the flags to show gratitude to those two nations, this man says a no-fly zone must be implemented now. simply to save the people. they're killing the libyan people, he says. the world is taking so long. he is going to finish off all of libya and there will be no point to a no fly zone. >> this regime is a big a threat for all the world. we're defending the world peace, not just for our citizens. >> reporter: it's already been a month of bombardment and bloodshed says this man. this is the u.n.'s responsibility. if the u.n. won't protect
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civilian populations, what's the point of its existence? and, yes, i am worried about my children, he continues. we've already seen children massacred. the french flag has been hanging from the courthouse here since friday when frans recognized the illegitimacy of the national council. people then happy, anticipating that the united states would shortly follow suit, talking about how they would hang an even bigger flag to thank america for its support. since then, they have, of course, been bitterly disappointed. many people telling us that this is an issue of money, they'll pay for it. if it's an issue of america fearing involvement in an arab nation, well, they would be welcomed here. they say that if america and the global community continues to choose inaction, this will be a dark state, a very dark stain in history. arwa damon, libya. a new round of violence erupted in bahrain.
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witnesses say security forces attacked opposition demonstrators in the round about on wednesday and then stormed the city's main hospital where they beat up doctors. but the government says it was the protesters who attacked police with firebombs as they approached the square. so you've got two different stories there. they say police retaliated with tear gas. now japan, of course, working feverishly to keep its damaged nuclear reactors cool. coming up, the country's defense minister tells us what is being done to pump water into their cooling systems. and we'll look at what is happening to japan's exporters. that's right ahead.
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>> translator: after the aerial operations, in the afternoon, the tokyo police squad with their water cannon trucks will conduct operations from the ground. japan's defense minister on the decision to use helicopters despite concerns about radiation levels to dump seawater on the spent fuel pools of two damaged reactors at fukushima's crippled nuclear power plant. a u.s. official says there is no watter in one of the pools which is resulting in extremely high levels of radiation. but a japanese official disputes that saying there appears to be water, just how much is unclear. well from cnn london, i'm charles hobson. >> and i'm pauline chu.
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welcome back to "world business today." nearly a week's worth of horrific images have come out of japan since last friday's earthquake and tsunami. but there are towns or what used to be towns that cameras are reaching only now. once again the scene is defies description. angus walker is in a devastated town of miyako. >> reporter: a fishing port where the harbor offered no sank wary. a ferry is now marined in the middle of town. you'd be forgiven to thinking this is a war zone. instead, it's a place where soldiers are battling to find victims of nature's forces. more than 1,000 are missing. it took the japanese army to get to miyako. they're still here, still
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searching for bodies. and the weather conditions are getting worse. this town can only be reached by mountainous roads. the sergeant tells me they pulled ten people out alive since monday. and if they only find one more, it will all still be worth it. a boat is slammed into a bridge. the waters have receded, exposing the destruction in their wake. now you get a real sense of the terrifying scale of this disaster. so much water poured over the sea wall that it hit the bottom of the bridge which must be around 30 feet above me. >> these are the lists of the living, more than 5,000 in emergency shelters. and this woman is one of japan's
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countless good samaritans. >> i have to help people because it helps me. >> reporter: she located the missing on the internet. she's coming here hoping to find people she doesn't know on behalf of people she's never met. >> it's just horrible. i want to think it is a nightmare what happened in my country. but i can't say anything. >> reporter: and all along japan's northeastern coast, the nightmare never seems to end. angous walker, itv news, miyako. a day after markets seemed to be on the mend, asian stocks slipped back again on thursday. the nikkei sank almost 5% in early trading, but then it got some gains by the end of the day to end the session down nearly
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1.5% there. that afternoon reprieve in tokyo came after news that the bank of japan was pumping another $60 billion of emergency cash into the country's financial system. now in shanghai, nuclear energy firms were hit about it news that china is suspending the approval of new nuclear projects. meanwhile, in sidney where the main aussie benchmark ended down fractionally. uranium companies posted losses. both the shanghai and the sidney indices managed to keep losses to just under .5% while the hang seng here in hong kong ended the day down by more than 1.8%. now let's look at how the yen is moving against the dollar right now. in afternoon trading, the yen pulled back from the record high of $76.25 against the u.s. dollar. now this surge alarmed exporters. that eased the worries about how a strong japanese currency would
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hit the country's exporters by the time it weakened to about $79.11 by the end of the trading day. now there is talk in the markets that japan may be preparing to reign in the rising yen by injecting more liquidity into the system. now on friday, that's tomorrow, finance chiefs from the g-7 countries are set to hold talks on the country's on going crisis. japanese officials, no surprise, they won't comment on the possibility of any intervention. and the last time they did intervene in the currency market was just a couple months ago back in september, charles. okay. let's have a quick update on how the crisis in japan is impacting european markets. we're 37 minutes into trading. we're seeing decent gains there. 1.25% for both frankfurt and paris. the london ft-se a little behind. up by nearly 1%. and the smi up by .7%.
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barclays here in london took a hit in wednesday's trading. see where -- we're seeing a little buying back of that stock now. yeah, we are. up by .5% for barclay's and indeed for other banks as well. now in terms of the major u.s. stock markets, all three of those closed at their lowest levels so far this year. the dow sank by just over 2% on wednesday. nasdaq and subpoena & p, they have thrown away all of their gains for the year. they were off by, again, nearly 2%. now the nuclear crisis in japan and in particular that very strong yen is pushing stocks in exporters in japan down. but there are a lot of implications for stocks all the way around the world. amy rubin joins me with more on that. the car making sector is feeling the ripple.
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>> that's right. let's take a look at the big players in japan for a start. we go to the carmakers, honda. they fell by 1%. tokyo -- toyota said they will resume production. but their shares still down 2.2%. stocks being hit by the yen's ten-year high against the dollar. and sony saw their shares fall by .8%. what is the effect worldwide? markets in europe have been plunging. they slightly rallied this morning as you just said. among the stocks worst hit, utility providers to the nuclear industry, uranium producers took a hit. and energy stocks also down. shares in the world's largest manufacturers of nuclear reactors has plunged. now japan is the third largest consumer of oil. of course, worries over its economy saw oil down to $110 a barrel. and we're seeing the automobile
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sector, car manufacturing is a huge part of their economy. they manufacture parts as well. now companies around the world are relying on them. and they're worried that the shortages may have a huge impact on global production. nissan saw their shares down. they've been falling this week. also bmw, ford, and general motors. >> okay. well, you know, clearly there are some -- all the unlikely customers, clearly nuclear power companies and those associated with them, their supplies obviously continue to take a hit, i imagine, that's situation gets worse also. >> i was talking about the global supply chain there when it comes to the automobile industry. of course, there is a similar problem with the tech industry now. one analyst i spoke to said that japan produces 10% of the world's memory chips, 35% of flash memory. now the prospect of delays to availability of flash memory is causing investors great concern. that's an integral part of smart phones and tablets like the
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ipad. we have seen shares in technology stocks like apple, dell, and hp down. and, of course, charles, just one final point to think of. the japanese consume 11%st world's luxury goods. we've seen falls in ldma. their shares are down and also in a british company burbury. >> thank you very much. pauline? charles, i'm going to touch a little bit more on the points that emily made, especially with the electronics sector. let's get more on how japan's biggest companies are being affected by the disaster. now think of it this way. japan produces about 40% of the world's electronics. and 60% of the sill con used in semiconductors. they come from japan. so let's take a look at a couple of companies like toshiba, canycanon and sony.
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product could drop by 20%. they make a third of the world's plash memory. now let's take a look at canon. now canon also from japan, three plants there have been shut down. one of them is really badly damaged. it is affecting the production of lenses for camcorders and also for office machines. and then finally, we're going to take a look at sony. now as emily just mentioned, this is japan's biggest exporter of consumer electronics. at least eight facilities are closed and the miyagi plant is heavily damaged. blu-ray disks are made in this particular factory. so these are just a few examples of a manufacturing that cannot be carried out in japan right now because of the earthquake and tsunami from last friday. now cnn is launching a new high-tech way for smart phone users around the world to take
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immediate action to help disaster victims in japan. now throughout our news coverage, we will show you special black and white codes which you can see on the screen right now. let's take a look to see if we can bring that up. we'll see if we can do that. in the meantime, i'll tell you about this bar code. if you can scan this image with your smart phone -- there it is at the bottom of your screen. if you can scan that image, it will load our website. we'll air this code throughout the day on cnn. so keep your smart phones handy. just get really close to your tv screen and you can download it right away. "world business today" returns in just a moment.
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scenes of a port in japan on the far northern shore. ships tossed about by the tsunami, some on their sides. others are being flung on to the dock. at least ten ports along the northeast coast are decimated. lloyd says the closures are costing japan $3.5 billion in lost sea trade each day. ports south tokyo are operating normally. welcome back to world business today. cnn's special coverage of the earthquake and tsunami in japan continues. thousands of japanese and foreign nationals are trapped if tokyo airports trying to escape the devastation and the nuclear threat. the international airports were jammed on wednesday with travelers heading to southern gentleman upon or just trying to get out of the country. the u.s. is warning americans not to travel to northeastern
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japan. and it is sending planes to evacuate the families of u.s. diplomats. meanwhile, britain and australia are telling their citizens not to go to the north either. and also to avoid tokyo as well. france is advising citizens to get out of japan entirely. france is sending planes to take them out of the country. international airlines are keeping a close eye on the situation in japan. not all are changing their flight schedules. but there are some. air china says it canceled some flights to tokyo from beijing and shanghai. but that's due to aircraft capacity. british airways and virgin atlantic say flight schedules will stay the same. air france is helping to evacuate french citizens out of japan. and korean air has increased the number of flights for people who want to return home. german carry lufthans sachlt
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diverting flights away from tokyo to osaka and nagoya until at least the weekend, charles. the freezing temperatures and snow in japan are making the situation there even worse. and winds are complicating efforts to cool the nuclear reactors. our meteorologist is at the cnn weather center with more on that. good morning. >> charles, the winds, in fact, canceled many of the flights that were supposed to drop 100 drops of water there in that plant. they were only able to get four. the winds have been significant. the helicopters can fly in the wind. the problem is a lot of the water is evaporating or by the time it gets to the plant, it is droplets and not significant enough to certainly do what it's supposed to do. here are the temperatures. we have two angles on this story. we have the conditions that are on going on the ground and then we have winds that we're going to be talking about as far as
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radiation dispersement here. but checking in on our good friends on the ground here, temperatures are bitterly cold. we've been showing you the scenes of all the snow. certainly cold enough for that. and we continue to see the snow here. an area of low pressure moved to the east. this is kind of what we have in the u.s. or heading into europe, lake effect, sea effect snow. it continues here in japan with that cold northwesterly wind coming in. it is howling upwards of 50 to 60 kilometer winds. that's what canceled the flights throughout the day. we're going to continue to see the winds subsiding baa bit as that wind weakens. the snow, despite the low leaving, continues because of that sea effect snow, upwards of 18 centimeters to the north and west. that is higher terrain. that topography the provide for additional accumulations. look at the wind gusts as of wednesday here. not as strong today. you see this flow. see the continuous flow? the lows are actually away. we're still going to see more snow. then we're dealing with the
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winds on the ground. they are cold. they are bitter. but as far as the radiation dispersement, well, we have marine life here. that's going to be a problem for them. as far as the good folks across northeastern japan, the off shore winds and the stronger the off shore winds the better. any radiation, of course, will be pushed out to sea. we are talking now about the surface winds, not about the upper level winds that carry them across the pacific. we're not there yet. we don't think we're going to get there. so certainly if you're watching from north america, put the iodine pill as way. we're not looking at anything would warrant that. snow continues again on the backside of this low. here are the current winds. and the forecast winds from the high resolution computer model, you see bringing the winds out of the northwest and eventually shift to the south and west. by then, the winds will be weak. we'll stay on top of the winds and the forecast which remains abysmal there for continuing efforts on the ground.
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>> all right. i've an joining us there live from the international weather center, thank you very much. now parts of tokyo are in the dark. just ahead, we'll look at the impact of power outages on peoples and people and businesses in the japanese capit capital.
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the tokyo electric company started rolling blackouts across the japanese capital. the outages last until april 8th and they will affect eight prefectures but not downtown tokyo. the power cuts last for three to six hours in some areas and some 45 million people will be affected. remember, tokyo is the largest city in the world. already, people are having problems as a result like one woman stuck in an elevator. >> translator: i'm still upset. my heart is still racing. i knew the power was scheduled to go out.
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i just forgot. this is the first blackout we've ever experienced. so i just hopped on the elevator. i got stuck on the elevator going to my apartment on the fifth floor. i was stuck for about 30 minutes. i was lonely and scared. so i banged on the door and luckily a neighbor heard me. i would like to get a definite schedule for exactly when the blackouts are going to happen. >> that poor woman. what an ordeal. welcome back. live from cnn hong kong and london. this is "world business today." tokyo electric power expecting a short fall of about 25% of capacity with the imperilled fukushima nuclear plant off line. that, of course, is bad news for commuters and business. we have an i.t. consultant that lives in tokyo. earlier, he told us how the outages are affecting businesses at the moment. >> there are some issues with the blackouts that have concerned companies, primarily, they're not exactly sure when the blackouts will take place. they don't start exactly on
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time. and often, very often, they just been canceled for specific sections of the blackout areas. and without that information, it's very hard for them to properly shut down their servers and make sure that everything is prepared for such a blackout. and so it has some companies a little concerned. i don't think it would be considered a major problem. these rolling power outages may have a serious impact on japan's data centers. also called server farms. they're facilities used to house computer systems and hosting web sites and cloud computing services. that's all a big worry. earlier, john lennon, director of mata capital center in london explained the potential scope of the problem. >> they're going to have lots of dependcy for the financial institutions for data center backup. obviously, they'll have worldwide coverage on that. and not only is the power probably something to look at, it's also fiber network as well. so especially with what's
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happened there. fiber networks internationally are run on a sea bed. so they're going to have to look at redund ancy networks should something happen to the fiber. >> japan accounts for about 10% of the worldwide cloud computing services market. pauline? that is it for this edition of "world business today." thanks for joining us. i'm pauline chu at cnn hong kong. and i'm charles sulton in london. nationwide insurance. talk to me.
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